Anyone tapered off Effexor and used Prozac as a bridge?

Posted by michellez @michellez, Apr 24, 2021

Hi I Was wondering if anyone has stopped taking 75 mg of Effexor and went right on Prozac 20 mg I thought I heard that that would help the withdrawal?

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Hi, I have recently tapered off 75mg Efexor XR. It took roughly 6 months and I am on Topiramate 100mg for migraines which I believed helped with the initial taper (anti epileptic properties- reduced brain zaps etc) BUT it has been a month since I discontinued and I feel like I have fallen into a black hole of despair. Sometimes I honestly am not sure who or what I am.. and then it passes and I feel ok for a moment. Generally though, the joy is gone. I was considering taking Efexor again at 37.5mg, but I have been advised that Prozac 10-20mg is the antidote. Seeing my doc tomorrow, happy to be the Guinea pig and will let you know how it goes

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So sorry that you are going through such a difficult journey. Yes, there can be days of pure, dark hell. Such torture to deal with, while at the same time trying to balance a family (3 children), a husband, a house (with no outside help, just me as housekeeper, cook, shopper, etc., childrearing, an aging mother who was going through medical and personal crisis of her own and came to live with us....) AND working full time. WAY too much, so everything was just constantly being juggled, with horrid effects on me. I just focused on day by day, hour by hour...
It was not until AFTER I had finally reached the end of the tapering journey that the thought hit me that the Effexor had never made me feel any better, had not ameliorated my depression. If anythinging, it had compounded it.
You are taking topiramate (Topomax)...I was prescribed that for the severe migraines that would deck me out for HOURS and sometimes DAYS. I lost significant weight while on that drug (went from an 8/10 to size 2 --- I looked anorexic), but it did nothing for my migraines. Aggravated all the horrid experiences that I lived daily/nightly, so that drug was also tapered and dropped. I did not do any drug tapering solo, I sought and obtained excellent guidance but from a different neurologist, not the one who had prescribed Topomax, since she actually had prescribed Depakote also, which had created another level of hell for me. I dropped that doctor altogether, and was eternally grateful to the neurologist who guided me through the tapering journeys. I don't understand the rationale behind taking Prozac as an antidote. I've read several posts on this site of people who have been advised that...and also about the advise to RESTART the Effexor at 37.5. Why return to it at all, when with the right medical professional, it is possible to even get a pharmacy to fill a prescription for lower doses, possibly even tinctures, as part of finally eliminating the drug?
It's been a while since your post (the one to which I am responding), and I hope that you were able to get the help and reach the goal that you set for yourself. Effexor (I had the extended release) is in my opinion (and that of many posters on this site) a dangerous drug, and it insinuates itself into every fiber of the body, creating a twilight zone dimension that is extraordinarily difficult to escape.

With the tragic loss of my only sibling, a brother who lost a battle with lung cancer, I sank into a black chasm. I sought cognitive therapy, and accepted Zoloft to help with the crushing emotional and psychological pains. THAT drug also complicated daily (and nightly) life so I got the health professional to help me get off that as well. Effexor had been a hellish tapering experience, but Zoloft was worse on several levels, including the "whoosh" sounds in my ears, the brain fog and squeezes, the inability to concentrate, and the fact that even on the lowest dose I still had those problems. Required a tincture of that drug, mere drops over a period of time, to finally one day realize that there was no more blowing in my ear, no more sense of imploding. But it was accomplished with guidance, help, and not done on my own...I can't see how anyone can just undergo that path alone.
By the way, I am not on any antidepressants of any kind, and several life events and medical issues have made it increasingly difficult to cope with major depressive and anxiety disorders but the choice to not take medication is a decision borne from all that I experienced with various medications, with Effexor and Zoloft having been the ones that concretized my decisions. Personal choice.

I pray that you'll succeed and find a plateau of peace. 💖


I would urge those of us in the US to file a report with the FDA about Effexor. If enough of us file reports with MedWatch (FDA's Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program), we could make a difference. According to the response I received from the FDA: "Voluntary reports are essential for ensuring the continued safety of FDA-regulated products. One or two well documented case reports may provide an early signal of unexpected problems and lead to additional evaluation."

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